Let us guess. You’re here because you probably had a ‘gait analysis’ done at a shoe store and were advised to wear running shoes that ‘reduces’ or ‘corrects’ your pronation.
Or you read something about overpronation on the internet, so you landed on this page to do further research before finally deciding which shoe to buy.
But let’s make it clear right away – these so-called stability running shoes will not ‘cure’ or even correct your overpronation. Everyone pronates; this inward-rolling movement is a naturally occurring component of the gait cycle. The only difference is that a certain population of runners roll in a lot more than the others.
To counter the exaggerated movement, the ‘medial-post’ was invented a few decades ago. This is a firmer wedge of foam on the inner midsole. The underlying theory was that the harder inner midsole prevents the foot from rolling excessively inwards.
It sounded great on paper and also made sense in the 70s and 80s. Back then, running shoes had thin, blown EVA foam midsoles that packed quickly and lost their structure within a few weeks. We already covered this subject in detail in one of our 2015 shoe reviews, so we won’t devote any more screen space.
The bottomline is – modern-day stability running shoes with a medial-post are redundant. Perhaps vintage stability shoes were partially effective, but then those were ugly looking beasts with over-sized medial-posts. Now that’s a medial post.
Midsole foams have come of age, so even neutral shoes are supportive enough. To nobody’s surprise, recent traditional stability shoe updates have evolved into supportive neutrals. Look no further than the New Balance Vongo or the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 20 for proof.
So if traditional overpronation-control shoes are a relic of the past, then why does this buyer’s guide exist?
There are two reasons. The first is to tell you that you don’t need expensive ‘pronation-control’ running shoes.
The other reason is that a lot of runners want the feeling of a firmer medial wedge, the same way some prefer insoles that provide a sense of under-arch support.
At the end of the day, wearing a medially-posted running shoe is a personal choice. To that end, we’ve put together a list of traditional stability shoes.
Unlike our other stability shoe guide that also included non-posted support shoes and stable neutrals, this article only focuses on models with a firmer stability wedge.
So if you don’t see shoes like the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 20, you know why. adidas and Mizuno also do not sell shoes with a medial post, so they’re left out too. The Saucony Guide ISO 2 graced this guide last year, but the new Guide 13 does not. Ditto for the Hurricane 22 and the Brooks Beast 20.
One good thing about most shoes on this guide is that their wedges aren’t intrusive. So even runners who otherwise run in ‘neutral’ shoes can buy them without any worries.
Here’re our picks that are sorted alphabetically by brand:
1) Asics Gel-Kayano 26
The Kayano has been around for over two decades and a half, and is one of the most popular running shoes with a medial post.
Though it has been through its ups and downs, the core design has stayed the same. For its 26th edition, the Kayano sports a softer forefoot Flytefoam midsole along with the ever-familiar combination of a medial post, rearfoot Gel pads, and a plastic midfoot shank.
This is is an expensive shoe. But if you want a comfortable and well-fitting medially-wedged trainer, then the Kayano 26 is a dependable choice. At the time of writing this, the Kayano 27 is out too. But it’s going to be a few weeks before it is available widely.
2) Asics Gel GT-2000 8
Is it just us, or are Asics shoes looking better with each passing year? Though the GT-2000 8 is as traditional as they come, the fit and feel is an improvement.
The new midsole conceals no surprises. There’s the harder ‘Duomax’ medial post occupying its usual place and gives the ride its familiar motion-control undertone. The Flytefoam layers provide the distance-friendly cushioning and support that is expected of this daily trainer.
The interiors fit true to size and have a smooth and soft wrap owing to the updated material package. Everything is fused over the ventilated mesh, so there are no seams to bother you.
All in all, a well-rounded GT-2000 this one is. It’s an excellent alternative if one doesn’t want to spend extra on the Kayano 26.
3) Asics GT-1000 9
The GT-1000 9 gets you a mild motion-control ride experience. There is a firmer medial post (Duomax), but it’s tiny and does not affect the overall ride dynamics.
There is a slight cushioning bias that favors the outer midsole but that’s precisely why this model features on this guide. The midsole geometry gets you a firmer inner midsole and a softer outer sidewall. That’s understandable considering that the outer side has a visible Gel pad for softness.
At a point in time, the GT 1000 used to feel like a cheaply-made running shoe. In 2020, that’s no longer the case. Though the upper has a basic mesh construction, it uses soft heel and tongue lining materials to result in a secure and comfortable fit.
If you’re unfamiliar with Asics’s stability shoe line-up, know that the GT-1000 is part of the unofficial Kayano/GT-2000/GT-1000 group. The Kayano is the premium stability trainer (and the most expensive), followed by the 2000 and the 1000.
5) Brooks Addiction 14
There’s a lot of the Brooks Beast 18 in this shoe. We say that because the Beast 20 is a ‘Guiderail’ convert and no longer has a medial wedge. That’s also the reason why the Beast 20 doesn’t show up on the 2020 edit.
The Addiction 14 gets you the cushioned and supportive stability shoe experience. The wide midsole and outsole deliver a planted ride while the firm and large medial post have the retro traditional stability shoe feel.
Even the upper has a lot of the Beast 18 (and 20) in it. The engineered mesh and the plush heel and tongue join forces to produce a comfortable and spacious upper fit.
The Addiction is also available in multiple widths.
6) Mizuno Wave Horizon 3
The Mizuno Wave Horizon 3 doesn’t have a medial post – at least in the conventional sense. So why is it on this list?
To answer that question, take a look at the inner midsole. The Wave plate is almost a solid structure on the medial midsole as opposed to the pliable outer side.
This design imbibes a strong motion-control character to the Wave Horizon’s ride. The midsole isn’t lacking in cushioning at all; the dual-density foam stack offers superb underfoot padding.
The Horizon has the plushest upper of all the shoes that feature on this guide. There’s plenty of interior space too.
7) New Balance 860V10
The 860 has been a New Balance stability shoe staple for almost 10 years. The V10 introduces new updates to its upper and midsole design while retaining a medial post as a part of the scenery.
While there are four optional widths, the standard ‘D’ width has sufficient interior space.
That’s all good, but what’s with New Balance changing the collar of all its shoes to the less-than-ideal heel design?
9) Nike Structure 22
There used to be a time when Nike had a three-tiered stability shoe construct in the form of the Odyssey, Structure, and the Perseus.
But the glory days of traditional stability shoes are long gone, and the Structure 22 is the last one standing. It will be likely be replaced by the React Infinity Run, based on how Nike is marketing the latter. Or maybe the Structure will stay in the assortment indefinitely, the same way the Nike Free 2018 has.
Even mild-stability models like the Lunarglide and Lunareclipse are off Nike’s menu, so the Structure is the only medially posted shoe available. The upper is true-to-size, sleeved, and smooth inside. The Flywire cables work with the lacing for a secure midfoot fit.
The ride is firm – more so than other shoes like the GT-2000 on this list. While its closest competitor is the New Balance 860, the Structure’s Zoom Air powered forefoot adds a different flavor to the ride.
10) Reebok Grasse Road 2 ST
The Grasse Road 2 ST is an ‘almost-neutral’ running shoe, and its low-profile medial post is the only reason for its inclusion on this guide. The said wedge doesn’t cover the entire midsole sidewall but is located below a layer of the Floatride foam.
This design makes the medial post completely non-invasive. Even if the midsole didn’t have this firmer wedge, it would have been hard to tell the difference.
Considering that most of the midsole is made of the cushioned and responsive Floatride e-TPU foam, the Grasse Road ST is a comfortable daily trainer for most runs.